Social Disorganization Analysis
Social disorganization can be defined as failure or break down or total absence of social institutions or organization such as schools, churches policing and local governments, networking, and families in a community. The absence of such common communal structures has been found to be detrimental to the well being of the society. Social institutions or organizations have been known all over the years to encourage relationships of togetherness between the members of a given community.
Social order exists in a community of people when there is a defined coordinated relationship between its members. In such communities, members are involved in all the community based activities that the representatives of the community organize. The representatives include heads of families, religious leaders, school headmasters, local leaders. The level of involvement in the community activities is same to all members of that community.
So social did organization can be termed as the absence of control from traditional institution on a community of people (Harries, K. 980). Social disorganization was first introduced by the department of sociology in the University of Chicago to explain the nature of delinquency, crime and other social problems in the rising population of Chicago in early 1900s. Urbanization in Chicago at that time saw the rise in the level of crime and other social evils in the communities. With the rising population of immigrants from different races and different cultural backgrounds, the pre-existing social rules were hard to learn or teach.With no proper knowledge of the rules of social organization, the society was then viewed as ‘disorganized’ as individual behavior was no longer governed by the pre existing social rules or institutions.
Common values were no longer present this led to the rise of crime and other social evils in the society as people solved their problems in their own style(Miller, J. M. , Shreck, C. J. , & Tewksbury, R. 2006).
Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay in, The Social Disorganization Theory, suggest that crime is a result of the society not the individual in the society.The way the society is structured influence the way individuals in that society behave. To them, people will commit crimes because the society does not prevent them from happening. They provided a link between social disorganization and delinquency.
What constitutes social disorganization? In their study, Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay they suggested that economic, physical, family and population factors constitute to raise social disorganization. In their study of the city of Chicago, they concluded that the crime increases towards the centre of the community.This means that as one goes towards the central business district, the level of crime increases (http://www. csiss.
org/classics/content/66). They also made suggestions as to what may contribute to deviance. Such factors according to sociologist and criminologist are poverty, dilapidation, mixed use, and density –high population in neighborhoods, racial and ethnic differences have also been considered to be a factor contributing to crime. With the increasing chances of deviating and reducing power of social control, people in the society are bound to deviate.Poverty plays a role too as these are areas where individuals try to survive in the harshest of surroundings. In such environments, the survival of one is important to the maintenance of the social structure of the community.
Organized gangs are bound to rise whenever there is social disorganization. The crime rate in the society is related to the level of its disorganization. The problems in organization do not mean that there are no organizations in such areas. In absence societal structures like minded people form informal associations which translate to gangs in absence of social actions to prevent their existence.
The problems the gang members are similar and ways solving them do not matter to them as long as they come out of their problems. The methods they use usually make them commit crimes because of the social disorganization. The more they commit crimes the more they breed social disorganization in the society (Harries, K. 1980). Promoting community institutions and organizations that help members of the community bond and come together to solve common problems is the ideal way of bringing back social organization and order.
Many politicians and policy makers often promote short term and quick solutions to crime such as arrests and jailing of criminals. When such measures are taken, social organizations such as the family fail which lead to the failure of the whole system of social organization. This is clearly seen when young members of the society are incarcerated causing slacking in community development which in turn breeds poverty. Unity of citizens and promotion of unity promoting institutions is the key to social peace.